Dear BCCI,

A letter from an anguished cricket fan, seeing the state of affairs of the game and the callous attitude of the governing body…

For the sake of the future of the game in this country beyond Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid, please ensure that you take a leaf out of Cricket Australia is forcing them to take off, towards other aspects of the game. When they could get rid of Ricky Ponting – arguably the greatest ever after Tendulkar and Lara, despite him scoring two centuries inclusive of a double in the recently concluded test series, you could man up to do this as well. Make no mistake when I say this – Sachin is god as far as I am concerned, but the time has come to look beyond him, to the rest of the guys in the team.
And its not that our subjects have been performing exceedingly well as well. So it should be making your job a lot more easier. The time has come to put off your selfish materialistic mindset about the game and work on motivating the average Indian to take a lot of pride from the wonderful game. As of now, I don’t see myself watching the game anymore after Tendulkar is done and dusted and I hold you completely responsible for my decision. The main reason being that you have never thought of looking beyond the “fab four” when it came to marketing the game into the billions. Maybe it was due to the fact that they could single handedly drive the country into euphoria. But then, what needs to be realized is my views on watching the game post the Tendulkar era are echoed by millions of fans the world over. And if you don’t step up to act on this aspect, as an ardent fan of the beautiful game I am afraid to say the future of Indian cricket looks very very bleak.
And I do not understand the reasons for your haughtiness and arrogance when it came to the abiding by the Woolf Report, your constant opposition to the ways in which ICC affairs are conducted and your persistent opposition to DRS. And it doesn’t end there. Your refusal to set up an inquiry into the double whitewash and your constant bragging about winning the world cup at home turf as a compensation for the shame caused in England and Australia is shocking, to say the least. It tells me how much you care for the future of the game. And when Sahara bailed out of the mess, you went the extra mile in ensuring they got back on track. This at a time when, you had wasted no time in driving the Kochi Tuskers out of the IPL in the name of some financial irregularities. And we all know it was the money more than your concerns of a long term alliance that made you hold their asses for cover.
Sadly, the plot keeps getting thicker and thicker. I wish there was a government legislation which could force you to clip your wings and come under public scrutiny. It is the case with countries like Sri Lanka and South Africa and they seem to be showing results when more able administrators have stepped in. That said, I do hold you completely responsible for taking the game to this level, take no credit away from you. But I also hold you responsible for bringing anguish, frustration and a sense of grief into the average joe out there, who is afraid the good times are slowly getting over.
Yours Sincerely,
An-ardent-cricket-fan-who-is-afraid-for-the-future-of-the-game

There are indeed guys with the same thought process | A reply to the young Indian woman

A couple of days back, I read this post on the Indian Homemaker’s blog where a girl had written to IHM with her queries about life, something which I thought was indeed very genuine. It goes like this:
An email from a young Indian woman who has seen her parents respect each other as equal partners.
I wanted to share an incidence with you and also what it means in the future, for young Indian women (and men). However, at the outset I would like to clear out something since it features my late maternal grandmother prominently. I loved her immensely and she did too. I know I was destined to spend time with her just a month before her demise, because she genuinely wanted to meet me.
My father since childhood always stressed that girls and boys are equal, each are unique and there are no grounds for differentiation between them. That’s why I have grown up questioning the status quo.
My mother ( C ), including her are 3 sisters ( A, B, C ) and two brothers( D, E ), in order of their ages. Now my B mashi got married before my mother, and within a year she had a daughter. A year later my mother had me. And my nani cried when she heard it, because “Ek aur beti” (’0ne more girl child’)I learnt about this fact as a kid, and it hit me hard because honestly my nani loved me. When I went over to her place………..
Read the full letter here.
It was a very genuine thought that had crossed the mind of the young Indian woman in the letter. Born into a family which treated her as equals (the best thing is that she fought for it, whenever she felt she had got a bad deal [*respect*] ) with a person of the opposite sex (which by the way is not very common in my part of the world), she was afraid whether she would find a guy who would treat her in the very same way, meaning sharing the same thought process as her. This reply to her, is in many ways the sentiment echoed by the average Indian man who would be very much willing to treat his woman in the same equal terms as himself, thus sharing the same thought process (I know there aren’t many, but still ).

Dear woman in the letter,

First up, thanks for bringing up this dilemma of yours into the forefront. You have echoed the sentiments of a very many number of women in this country, who have probably thought of this aspect at some point in life. As someone from the opposite sex who is a believer in equality and equal opportunities, I would like to tell you that there is indeed hope for people like us.

Though I must confess that I do represent only a minority of men who would want his woman to be treated equally well as he is. But then the fact remains that if you are patient enough and have the mind to stick by what you think is right for you, there is a good possibility that you will end up finding Mr.Right. It might mean having to deal with the pesky neighbors, nosey aunts among others, who might end up branding you as being “demanding and choosy”, but don’t you think life is worth the wait for the right man?

Having given you the bright side, I got to tell you one more aspect of it, namely the alternate view. The predicament that we are in, you might also be well advised not to keep your hopes very high on this. And I have my own reasons for saying this. I represent the opposite sex which has been accused of not living upto the expectations of the womenfolk in all universe (the converse is also a very well debated topic, but for many different reasons mostly). I do not have any explanations in my defence as to why many of my women friends who have recently been married, ended up coming out of it because they felt that the guy they got married to, was so much different from the guy who was in love with them a couple of years before they ended up in wedlock. Reasons, which I am not really proud of.

On the being single debate and its viability, ending up being single for the rest of your life is better than being married to the wrong person. If you thought that the fear of getting married to the wrong person was just a woman thing, you might be surprised to know that you are wrong. Again it comes to being a minority but then, there are men in this country who have the same fears as you have echoed here. And some of them have succumbed to the pressures and ended up with the wrong person, only either to struggle through the ordeal without any positives or to come out of the relationship, bruised and battered, with what was a horrible past.

Lastly, I just want to say one thing. I, for one, believe that I will never end up being with someone who is not even remotely compatible with me. I am seeing someone even now (someone I know for like 8 years, been in an in and out thing for like the last 2 and the like) as I write this letter, but it remains to be seen if she will end up being a part of my life. And that’s the thing about being of the same thought process (not gender equality as in your case but then, that should be a story for another day) and the fact that I will only listen to what my mind says about this and none else. So as you can see, it ain’t any piece of cake, but it is definitely worth the try. Because we have only one life and its always a comforting feeling to realize when you are old, that you have lived life thus far in your own terms rather than succumbing to the pressures of the people around you. I don’t know if I made things easier for you with this letter, but then you are not alone if that makes you feel any better.

Yours Sincerely,
The-minority-indian-man-who-is-a-preacher-of-equality-and-equal-opportunities.

Sole to Soul – A Spectacle of Kathak

I was fortunate to be one among the rasikas (spectators/audience) of Sole to Soul, a spectacle of the Indian classical dance form Kathak performed by Lajja Sambhavnath and her disciples at the Museu de Oreiente yesterday evening. Kathak, as you all might know is a Northern Indian classical dance form which conveys a lot of stories through the form of dance. It is derived from the Sanskrit word Katha meaning story.
The rasikas for yesterdays show were largely a group of partisan Europeans who seemed to have thoroughly enjoyed the performances on stage. Paulo Sousa was on the sitar while Raimund Engelhart was on the tabla.
If you are on Facebook,this is the link to the video. Enjoy.

On the M.Tech Vs MS debate

Its almost 2 months in Lisbon and life has undergone a shift of sorts in this time frame. The course work is getting more demanding by the day and it requires much of my focus on a more regular basis. The old days of sailing through the coursework (during the bachelors) is a thing of the past. Though I must admit I am liking the way the academics go about in this part of the globe. Rot learning, as was prevalent in India no longer exists. And there is a distinct relationship between theoretical study and its application in the real space.
Sure it demands more work but I think this works well if you are the kind who detests unreasonable and irrelevant intake of information, much of which becomes useless for the best part of your life ahead. What you get with a master is more of an optimized , no-nonsense holistic approach towards learning. I am not trying to look down on the Indian system of postgraduate education, but I feel this is what works best for me.

On the Madrasan girl, the Delhi Boy and the mad crowd running behind them….

Madrasan girl has made life hell not only on twitter and her blog, but also on Facebook. As a result, my computer stands to get some well deserved rest now that people have woken up to this and started writing their own hate posts, mine included. I was part of this debate on television for Ragam on “How racists are we” and the verdict on that was quite obvious.
Even when India makers a hue and cry about the racist mentality that they have to deal in the states or in the UK, what we forget is to see whats happening inside this country.We are a country of norms, traditions and faiths, which range from every microcosm of activity that transpires all across this country. And when we see another person, who is from another part of India do things in a separate manner, this becomes an obvious event of confrontation. Its not because we start doubting our principles or ethics, its just this feeling of the growing insecurity from within at the sight of this total stranger who would go about his weird ways and in most ways, find you weird too.
I am very much an Indian – born and bred in the south of the country and I am no different from these people. I did have a few rogues from the north in my class, who were very much annoying if not anything worse, but then I am very sure I was nothing less than annoying for them too. And for the best part of life in college, I have made myself steer away from them for reasons that were purely personal coz I felt I was best being around with my people. And I am sure, everyone does that. A Maharashtrian would be most happy if he/she can spot a marathi more than anyone else, a gujju does the same, a bengali, a tamilian – EVERYONE does this.
Only when it is somebody who beings it up in the public domain, we have a tendency to trash it, call it racist, have a big bad debate wasting a lot of time over something, which we all know exists even within us. India is my country, all Indians are my brothers and sisters is only reserved for the national pledge, but the reality is far far different. I do not think, I am exactly in a flourishing brotherhood or sisterhood with someone who cannot take me the way I am and instead ridicules the fact that I eat with my hands or calls me a madrasi. I think of you in no less demeaning manner.
So let us not deny her, her right to express what she felt. She has put in a lot of thought into this, much of what she says will be echoed by the average south Indian. Maybe she got in acquaintance with the wrong set of people in Delhi, maybe she is a victim of extreme inferiority complex and frustration because she stands no chance against the women in the north in hitting it out with a guy up there, maybe some totally other reason too – but we all meet up with these jerks and invariably take off on things like this. So take it with a pinch of salt and move ahead, atleast she has managed to get us to think. Everyone is indeed welcome to set their records straight on this issue and that indeed is the way to go about it. And the Delhi boy’ response I hear is equally good, but I do not prefer to read that and you know why.